They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us (1 John 2:19).
So many antichrists grew up in church. When they were grown, they left. They may have been in church, but the church was never in them. The church is the Body of Christ. If the Spirit of Jesus truly lives in you, you’ll never kick Him out. The draw of the world is never large enough to tempt someone who has tasted the goodness of God.
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame (Hebrews 6:4–6).
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour (1 John 2:18).
Does John think all Christians are “little children”? Well, if he did, he wouldn’t be far off. I’m convinced most of the church has never grown up, but in this case, I believe John is simply using the most inclusive title in order to speak a severe warning to everyone.
The last hour. To equate an hour to a millennium makes it easier to talk about. The world, when John wrote this letter, had already lived four millennium, or four hours. Knowing there were only two more hours to live, John could easily refer to the time as the last hour. In comparison to eternity, two thousand years is no more than two hours.
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:17).
What does it mean to do the will of God? Well, surprisingly enough, once you are born again, the next thing to learn is that you must now do the will of God. Before you were born again, you could do any old thing you wanted. Not so now. Now you belong to God, and you must bend your will to do His will.
But the other surprising thing is this: doing your own will never brings you happiness, but doing the will of God brings you great gladness and overwhelming satisfaction. Why is that? Because He designed you. He created you from the foundations of the earth and wrote a book all about you. He knows what makes you tick. He knows what brings you joy. He is the only One who can lead you into all completion, all prosperity, all health, all beneficial relationships, and all contentment. He will make your life holy and wholesome because He loves His creation. He loves you!
You can choose the world and pass away, or you can choose Him and live forever beyond your wildest dreams. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life will never fulfill your wildest dreams; in fact, they will drown your dreams. Live in the fullness of life by doing the will of God for you.
For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. (1 John 2:16).
I have long contended that people marry out of the lust of the flesh. This is true whether the society is such that abstains from sex before marriage, or freely indulges.
The Bible says that no one shall separate what God has joined together. God does not operate through the flesh. He operates through His own Spirit, speaking to the human spirit and telling that person who to marry. When you know who you’re going to marry before you fall in love with the person, there’s a good chance God brought the two of you together.
What is lust of the eyes? Quite simple. You see it. You want it. Now you’re operating on the level of the soul and again, God doesn’t operate there.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15).
I have realized as a missionary that I love my American culture. I didn’t realize I loved it until I couldn’t have it anymore. The French, however, are quite aware of their culture and are proud of it.
But God is saying not to love or be proud of our cultures as it leaves no room for the life of our Father to be in us. Heaven has its own culture and, as the Bible says, we are no longer citizens of our countries here on earth; we are already citizens of Heaven.
If we are born again, heaven is now our home, even if our bodies are still living on the earth. We need to know the rules and regulations of the Kingdom of God so we can live there, today.
Heavenly protocol demands we operate in Righteousness, in Peace and in Joy. All of those are choices to make, just like not running a red light is a choice we make on earth.